Huon Aquaculture lodges court proceedings against Tasmanian government

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 8th February 2017

Salmon farming company, Huon Aquaculture, has lodged proceedings in the Australian Federal Court against the Tasmanian government, accusing the government of not properly regulating salmon farming at Macquarie Harbour.

The proceedings claim that the government is not complying to the conditions of a 2012 decision which approved the expansion of salmon farming in the harbour.

Huon says that the Department of Primary Industries, Parks Water and Environment (DPIPWE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are failing to comply with the conditions created to ensure over-fishing would not occur and that there would be no negative impacts on the world heritage area.

All other avenues exhausted

Huon Aquaculture Co-Founder and Executive Director, Frances Bender, said whilst the proceedings were a strong course of action to take, Huon Aquaculture believe it has exhausted all avenues.

“As I said in November, our actions speak to our ethos that we will not operate in a boom and bust cycle, by placing too much pressure on the environments we operate in and that exposes us to long-term reputational damage and jeopardises the job-security of our employees,” Bender said.

“We believe that Macquarie Harbour can be farmed safely for the long-term but to do that we need to act now, act responsibly and act in the long-term interests of our employees,” she said.

Tassal and Petuna decline offer to join legal proceedings

Huon has invited other salmon farming companies to join them in the legal action but the two other companies which farm the harbour, Tassal and Petuna, have refused the offer.

Minister Rockliff defends Tasmanian government

In response to the legal proceedings, Tasmanian Minister for Primary Industries and Water, Jeremy Rockliff, said there is no greater supporter of Tasmania’s iconic salmon industry than the Hodgman Liberal Government.

“It’s an industry that supports more than 5,200 jobs in regional Tasmania and is among the best regulated in the world,” Minister Rockliff said.

“The Government notes the proceedings brought today by Huon Aquaculture regarding the EPA’s biomass decision for Macquarie Harbour made in January 2017.As the matter is now subject to legal proceedings it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time,” he stated.

Macquarie Harbour is located in the West Coast region of Tasmania. Both the King River and the Gordon River empty into Macquarie Harbour.


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